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The Stone Tide: Adventures at the End of the World by Gareth E. Rees

‘The problems started the day we moved to Hastings…’

When Gareth E. Rees moves to a dilapidated Victorian house in Hastings he begins to piece together an occult puzzle connecting Aleister Crowley, John Logie Baird and the Piltdown Man hoaxer. As freak storms and tidal surges ravage the coast, Rees is beset by memories of his best friend’s tragic death in St Andrews twenty years earlier. Convinced that apocalypse approaches and his past is out to get him, Rees embarks on a journey away from his family, deep into history and to the very edge of the imagination. Tormented by possessed seagulls, mutant eels and unresolved guilt, how much of reality can he trust?

The Stone Tide is a novel about grief, loss, history and the imagination. It is about how people make the place and the place makes the person. Above all it is about the stories we tell to make sense of the world.

About the author

Gareth E. Rees is the founder and editor of the website Unofficial Britain, and author of Marshland (Influx Press, 2013). His work has featured in anthologies including An Unreliable Guide to London (Influx Press), Mount London (Penned in the Margins), Acquired for Development By... [Influx Press], Walking Inside Out: Contemporary British Psychogeography (Rowman & Littlefield), The Ashgate Companion to Paranormal Cultures (Ashgate), and the spoken word album A Dream Life of Hackney Marshes (Clay Pipe Music). He lives in Hastings with his two daughters and a dog named Hendrix.

Praise for The Stone Tide


Puts the ‘psycho’ into psychogeography.
– Andrew Weatherall

In this wryly autofictional successor to Marshland, its author's vulnerability to the real meets once again his absolute clarity of hallucination,  generating the perspective of a drugged polaroid camera exhausted after decades in search of the ideal seaside experience. It's a marriage made in Hastings. Simultaneously quotidian and grotesque, The Stone Tide is the funniest, most readable, most intelligently self-searching book I've read in years.
– M John Harrison, author of Light

The familial throb throughout most powerful as mind and matter start to disintegrate – moments of REPULSION ebbing and flowing inwards – whilst the phantomic coastal current pulled me outweirds and onweirds.
– Andrew Kötting, director of Gallivant and By Our Selves

It turns out that Hastings is not where psychogeographers go to retire, but to buy collapsing, haunted houses, break up with their life-partners and go batshit crazy.
– Will Ashon, author of Strange Labyrinth

Beautifully written... Hastings and its witches and magick and myth and legend and booze and dreams and fables.
– Salena Godden

Rees’s uncanny adventures by the sea provide rich entertainment.
– Matt Thorne

The Stone Tide shows us the town of Hastings as a complex map of past lives, hiding places, and scarred psyches. Geography and history can, it seems, hold a person together when all else fails. It's a painful way to exist, Gareth Rees tells us, but still – a fascinating one to read about.
– Aliya Whiteley, author of The Beauty

It's a cliche to talk about being haunted by a book but I feel The Stone Tide has been following me about, rattling its chains, and generally jangling up my thoughts.
 Travis Elborough, author of A Walk in the Park

Remorselessly entertaining. Gareth E. Rees' East Sussex occult odyssey gives the bloated corpse of the mid-life crisis memoir a salty seaside French kiss of life.
– Ben Thompson

A brave, inventive and profoundly moving book, new English landscape writing at its most expansive and necessary.
– Ashley Stokes, Unthank Books

[An] Engaging and touching psychogeographical exploration of present-day and historical Hastings.
Fortean Times

A hallucinatory piece of work… The Stone Tide is a strange and memorable adventure.
Literary Review

Gareth E. Rees shows concretely what the spaces and places we roam can do to us as human beings.
Helsinki Book Review

One of this year’s most innovative, exhilarating and brilliant pieces of writing. Read it, and then shout about it to the four winds, much like Crowley himself might have done.
The Independent Literary Fiction Blog

Rees’ genius lies very much in his comedic details and observations... exhilarating, truly original and highly entertaining.
The Contemporary Small Press

A hybrid of the richest, wildest sort, part memoir, part fiction, all broilingly mad. It starts with a death and ends in ecstatic vision. Chapters modelled as comic strips, historical docu-fictions and MRI-induced dreamquests come spilling from the page, like the track listing of some impossibly eclectic vintage prog LP.

A work of breathtaking originality.
Psychogeographic Review

Rees has written a work of the rarest vision and ambition – it’s introspective, brutally honest, other-worldly and yet grounded.

It's astonishing and heartbreaking, and possibly invents a new genre: Personal Deep Topography. 
– Owen Booth, author of What We're Teaching Our Sons

So compulsive that I read it voraciously, a rare treat! The theme of the past, the narrator's memories and interior life intruding upon and merging with his present reality were, for me, reminiscent of W.G. Sebald, particularly The Rings of Saturn.
– Chris Josiffe, author of Gef! The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose

Hastings as strange attractor pulling @hackneymarshman into a vortex of unstable locality, mythical histories and dark comedy. Also some deeply personal and poignant journeys (outward and inward)across geographies & time. Superb!
– Fife Psychogeographical Collective

The prose somewhat similar to Christopher Priest’s (i.e. light on the surface yet deeper in import), Rees clearly invested time polishing the novel to its dark shine.

An ingenious meld of fact, fiction and various unrealities, The Stone Tide is a bold and inventive read, incredibly imaginative and poignant.
Warped Perspective

Rees has added an ethical dimension to psychogeographical writing that was not there before. Any tendency to hoover up the resonances of the terrain and turn them into fine stories with distinctive ambience is dispelled by The Stone Tide. This book makes clear that these are places not literary backdrops, that they are sites with specificities that can wedge in the flesh of reader and writer alike like thorns on a bramble; they can break a body like jagged rocks can.
– Mythogeography

An unusual, deeply personal account that offers up many wider issues to consider alongside a psychogeography of Hastings. Beguiling yet brutal in its honesty.
Never Imitate

Gareth E. Rees is a post-punk Sebald.
 Ashley Stokes

A novel in which the central character has the same name as the author: ooooh! Dilapidated Victorian housing: aaahh! An occult puzzle connecting Aleister Crowley, John Logie Baird and the Piltdown Man hoaxer: eeeeee! Freak storms: wooooo! Possessed seagulls, mutant eels and unresolved guilt? Hold me back!
Turnaround Blog

A ghost story of time, place and imagination in turns spooky, funny, thought-provoking, educating and entertaining.
– Vic Templar, author of Taking Candy from a Dog

An exciting, fast-moving mix of travelogue, reminiscence, occult adventure and urban wyrd... this is a deeply personal, profoundly moving and truthful autobiography. Highly recommended.
– Music For Zombies

Gareth provides an unflinching insight into the human condition, the pain we can all hold and avoid, in a memoir which is referred to as a novel and fiction, yet the author is the main character, his reality is the fiction. It is a brave piece of work.
Decoding Static

Further Reading

You're Bard: Gareth E. Rees interviewed by Michael Smith
Caught by the River

INTERVIEW: Gareth E. Rees interviewed by John Rogers
The Lost Byway

INTERVIEW: Gareth E. Rees

INTERVIEW: The Momus Questionnaire with Gareth E. Rees
Minor Literature(s)

My Secret Life in Supermarket Car Parks
The Lonely Crowd

From Wave Seer and Gareth E. Rees: 'U118', a discordant track about Hastings' infamous U-boat wreck, produced by Fritz Catlin (23 Skidoo), art by Liminal Londoner.

THE STONE TIDE by Martin Fuller.

Gareth E. Rees features in this recent Irish audio documentary detailing psychogeography in the UK and Ireland.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1910312070

Ebook ISBN: 978-1910312087

Limited edition hardback ISBN: 978-1910312285

Publication date: March 2018

Formats: Hardback / Paperback / eBook